Hello –

The sun rises and sets daily but nothing is certain. Our group rides used to be an automatic, recurring, regular affair. We’d check the blog on Friday afternoon or check for KO’s email about the weekend rides; we’d enjoy a coffee and sweet buns after a ride; we’d tease each other in a friendly, bonhomie manner – now all just a memory. We used to take for granted the little things that gave us pleasure and the things that we thought nothing about at all. Not any more. Now, we line up to buy groceries and other essentials and we ride mostly alone, or maybe with one other person. We used to train diligently for the RLCT. But, not now. Now, just a memory.

OBC has cancelled the RLCT for 2020, falling victim to COVID19 social distancing measures. So, for the first time since 1990, we will not be riding to Kingston in June.

My first RLCT was 1988. In 1989, I relocated from Ottawa and was unable to train for the Tour. Since then, I’ve ridden the RLCT every year and I’ve completed the tour every year with the exception of 2007 when I crashed and broke my collar bone about 100 kms from Ottawa. Come to think of it, I have crashed too many times; and, all of them my fault. What does that say about my bike handling skills and group riding ability? Hmm, not good.

Age now presents new challenges of balance and fitness. My expectation is to ride the RLCT until age 75 but nothing is certain. Now it’s really only one year at a time. “Eternity belongs to those who live in the present.” (LW) And, “Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” (WW)

So, I try to ride everyday for pleasure as well as fitness. I like to go hard but I question the value of doing that now – to what purpose? It’s the long game, really. How to stay healthy and fit and keep riding, without injury or illness or fatigue or burnout. This becomes increasing difficult as the pool of potential riders of a similar age decreases. Solo riding then plays a greater part of one’s cycling experience, since younger legs and lungs and hearts have greater capacity. Still, one missed the camaraderie and challenge of riding with other like-minded ‘souls’. We all desire comanionship – Adam needed Eve, after all.

For many, you are still in the get faster stage – that sweet spot before the aches and pain of age, and the questions of purpose undermine your resolve. You are also under time-pressure and cycling hard is great for time management and stress relief; but, cycling too hard, creates deleterious physiological stress. In the long term, this causes injury, sometimes permanent injury, leaving you to abandon or modify your cycling/fitness goals as a result. How long we continue to cycle is unknown. Nothing is certain.

I can say this for certain. That 6 ounces of Bailey’s costs me 60 minutes of cycling time to earn.

I can say this, too, for certain. It’s been a pleasure and joy to ride with you and to take up the challenge of doing it better from one weekend to the next. I hope do so again, once the COVID19 Queen relinquishes her hold on our lives. Meantime, stay fit, firm, fine – always.

In memory of John Prine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ujOTP8oPpY&list=RDOVhA01J0Zsg&index=14

Tour Dates (tentative in light of COVID19)

RLCT June 13/14  Cancelled

Tour of Whitewater July 11  https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=tour+of+white+water

Tour de Bonnechere Mid August http://tourdebonnechere.blogspot.com/

Tour (Grandfondo PEI) Aug 28-30 http://granfondo-pei.ca/

Tour Prince Edward County Sept 12  https://www.countygranfondo.com/

Tour of Thousand Islands Sept 13 https://tigranfondo.com/the-ride/

Contact:
– arnpriorcycling@bell.net
– Twitter a@arnpriorcycling
– IG @arnpriorcycling
– WP arnpriorcycling.blog

THE FLY

Little fly,
Thy summer’s play
My thoughtless hand
Has brushed away.
Am not I
A fly like thee?
Or art not thou
A man like me?
For I dance
And drink and sing,
Till some blind hand
Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life
And strength and breath,
And the want
Of thought is death,
Then am I
A happy fly,
If I live,
Or if I die. wb